‘Restaurants not showing hygiene score may be hiding dirty kitchen’

Half of restaurants and takeaways do not display their official hygiene ratings, a study has found.

It means consumers may be putting themselves at risk of food poisoning by dining at eateries with dirty kitchens, the Local Government Association said.

The body, which represents local councils, is demanding a change in the law to force all restaurants to show their scores on windows and doors where customers can see them.

Council environmental health teams score food outlets from zero to five based on factors such as kitchen cleanliness, cooking methods and food safety management. The FSA has previously voiced support for “scores on the doors” to be compulsory but has not yet enforced the policy.

Businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland are legally required to display their rating, however, in England, this is not the case.

Councillor Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, said: “Food hygiene laws need to be strengthened to drive up standards and protect people from being served unsafe food.

“With more people ordering takeaways online or on their phone, it should be mandatory to display food hygiene ratings online and on apps as well as in their premises.”

Grahame White